Monday, 9 December 2013
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Perhaps because I was getting smarter, or perhaps because it was in 3D, I didn't see Resident Evil: Afterlife at the cinema. But I did eventually see it (thankfully on a safely 2D TV screen) and picked up the DVD thereafter. It's not a great film (and the end is singularly goofy), but it has some pretty fun action sequences, and demonstrates good form in introducing a cast of characters who run the gamut of personality types and making you feel like most of them could actually die. It's also pretty good at making the actual deaths relatively shocking, which is a positive.
The majority of this film is set in and around a prison, which makes me wonder if someone had read the Walking Dead comics. Quite possibly not, though, as the look and feel of the place, and what happens within it, is very different to the other franchise. The prison forms the middle act, though, with an extended preamble before it, and a shorter (and much sillier) concluding sequence after it. The thematic link throughout the three acts is "Arcadia", a possibly mythical safe haven from the zombie menace. The concept of Arcadia was introduced in the last film, but only delivered on in this one. It's not a bad idea, generally, though it does lead to a pretty silly final battle - very Matrix - an hysterically unlikely Xanatos gambit, and then the most "to be continued" of endings. Evidently they were confident of doing well enough to justify a fifth entry in the film.
This one is worth watching for the progressively ever more ludicrous action sequences of the middle section. They're mostly pretty well-staged, though the obvious "meant for 3D" elements are a tad annoying.